World’s Elite Hide $21tn Offshore

Expat Globe

The amount of expat wealth sheltered offshore in territories around the world has always been a subject of discussion. A new report has put a figure to it and that figure is truly astonishing.

The Tax Justice Network commissioned James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey to produce the landmark study The Price of Offshore Revisited.

Mr Henry said, “This new report focuses our attention on a huge ‘black hole’ in the world economy that has never before been measured – private offshore wealth, and the vast amounts of untaxed income that it produces. This at a time when governments around the world are starved for resources, and we are more conscious than ever of the costs of economic inequality.

“Using several independent estimation methods, and the most comprehensive data set ever assembled, we have been able to triangulate on the size and growth of this black hole. Despite taking pains to err on the conservative side, the results are astonishing.”

The author of the report was scathing about the community of professionals involved in moving this wealth offshore describing them as an "industrious bevy of professional enablers in private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries.

"The lost tax revenues implied by our estimates is huge. It is large enough to make a significant difference to the finances of many countries.”

However, Mr Henry did remark that, "From another angle, this study is really good news. The world has just located a huge pile of financial wealth that might be called upon to contribute to the solution of our most pressing global problems,"

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